Oakland dehumanizes people by referring to “debris abatement and homeless abatement.” Abatement refers to trash or noise, not people. They are human beings, not debris, and must not be eliminated, or scrubbed away.
A community slowly robbed of spaces to live, places to worship or recreate, let alone places to sleep, has a deep poverty of leadership. The few reporters who notice need to write about that deficit: the real story.
Destroying Alliance Recycling is not about compassion, Mayor Schaaf. It is hateful and harmful prejudice masquerading as law. By any definition, the systematic discrimination, incrimination and elimination of a vulnerable population of poor and homeless people is a form of state-sanctioned violence.
What matters in the long run is staying true to the cause of justice. In the end, that is the very meaning of our lives — whether we keep going, and keep working for peace and justice, or give up in despair. It’s the question at the very heart of it all.
Radical and dissenting journalists were part of nearly every social-change movement and populist rebellion in U.S. history. In their day, they were hated by the powerful, and condemned as muckrakers, agitators and disturbers of the piece. Many are now remembered as exemplary models of journalism with a social conscience.
This artwork is a reminder of the beauty of humanity that connects all of us, whether housed or not. A real standout in Schuyler’s “Cophinus” were the words the artist chose to place on the cart’s push-handle: “THANK YOU.” Imagine these words facing a homeless person pushing the cart, every day.